Report: Yamina And Sa’ar’s New Hope Party To Merge

Naftali Bennett (Photo: Oded/Karni/GPO); Gideon Sa'ar (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The chairmen of the New Hope and Yamina parties are in talks to merge their parties, according to a Yisrael Hayom report on Wednesday.

The move is intended to allow Yamina leader Naftali Bennett to serve as prime minister of a national unity government as the head of a party of 13 members rather than just seven.

At the same time, senior Yamina and New Hope officials are in talks with Yair Lapid and other party leaders on forming a national unity government. According to a Channel 13 News report, Lapid and Bennett will finalize all the ministerial appointments by Motzei Shabbos.

However, there are many bumps on the road in negotiations with parties of such differing views and sources say that one of the bumps has been Yamina’s number two MK Ayelet Shaked, who reportedly has been doing everything she could to form a right-wing government. But a Kikar H’Shabbat report on Wednesday said that following the political storm on Tuesday, Shaked has agreed to join a national unity government.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hasn’t yet given up on establishing a government and on Wednesday, tried to persuade Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to join the right-wing bloc and serve first as prime minister in a rotational agreement.

Gantz reportedly responded that the idea was not relevant but in media interviews did not completely rule out the option of joining a government with Netanyahu.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)